Omaj pou Ayiti

Edwidge Danticat’s Essay in Commemoration of the Two Year Anniversary of Earthquake in Haiti

Anniversaries hurt. They brutalize the body. They pummel the spirit. Especially the anniversary of a catastrophe, where we are remembering the death not just of one or two people, but hundreds of thousands: 300,000 to be precise. Just when we thought our pain had subsided, it emerges again, it expands from a daily ache, which we hoped would one day disappear, to the throbbing agony we experienced at the moment that it seemed the world ended.

Two years ago in Haiti, the Earth opened, buildings collapsed, and people died. Armies descended, displaying military might worthy of a war zone. A flock of nongovernmental agencies came, too, growing from an estimated 10,000 to 16,000, making Haiti host to more nongovernmental organizations per capita than almost any other country in the world. Money was pledged by the world’s powers, great and small, $9.9 billion worth of promises, with less than half of that actually delivered.

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